Skip to main content

Happiness In This World


This morning as I drove Kat to MIL house, she was pretty talkative this morning and at the same time, I wanted some quiet time to myself to think. I entertained her queries - nodding and saying a few words in response. In that moment, though, an important thought struck me. I love Kat a lot but the feeling of love doesn't overwhelm me everyday, definitely not during that drive as I wanted to think. At certain moments, I feel a surge of love for her. At other moments I have no particular feelings - just neutral and doing my duty as a father. Love is not a continuous flow of feelings. It is not like electricity or water flowing on a river. When you turn an electric lamp on, it shines forever until you switch it off. The electric current continues to flow through the lamp and doesn't stop until you flip the switch. Love doesn't work that way. Similarly, happiness doesn't work that way.

So, why is it that many religions promise eternal happiness? Is this even achievable? If love, the fundamental and primal feelings, is not something that flows continuously like a electric current, what is a state of eternal happiness then? If you are happy every second of the way, is that even logical and achievable? You will be like a mad man from a psychological ward. Is that the reason you need go to a new place, like heaven, to have this eternal happiness feeling? Or you need to reborn in your next life to get this happiness? Reborn where? Planet Happiness somewhere in the Milky Way or beyond?

In Buddhism, happiness is not an end state. Achieving enlightenment, therefore achieving happiness is not the end goal where when you reached, you stopped moving. In Buddhism, happiness is a journey - and in this journey, it is full of problems and challenges. When you are able to overcome all these problems and challenges - that they doesn't pull you down, discourage you and you move on with life despite of the problems, at that moment, you are happy until the next problem came to you, in which you fought through and overcome and be happy while you overcome them. A cancer patient who doesn't let cancer destroy his life, is said to be happy. A financially challenged person who doesn't let that affect his relationship with his friends and family, who continue to work hard to overcome the financial trouble and in turn able to encourage others to do the same, is happy. A person who was dumped by his girlfriend but is able to move on with life without giving up on hope and love, is happy. That's why in our Buddhism, we can achieve happiness in this world, in this lifetime. We don't have to wait to be reborn in a holy land, or in heaven, to enjoy happiness. It exists NOW, today. You need to have the life state and the state-of-mind to overcome your challenges to enjoy the happiness.

In Nichiren Daishonin writing: "Though worldly troubles may arise, never let them disturb you. No one can avoid problems, not even sages or worthies.

Drink sake only at home with your wife, and chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. Suffer what there is to suffer, enjoy what there is to enjoy. Regard both suffering and joy as facts of life, and continue chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. no matter what happens."

He said that no one can avoid problems - even the wisest of men. And that life is full of ups and downs and regardless of it, we need to chant to uphold the positive life state. When your life is full of ups, you chant with gratefulness and enjoy the up time. When you are down, you chant to lift your life state and continue to over come these challenges. That is the secret formula to achieve happiness in this lifetime!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

One million daimoku

In April 2008, Anne and I started our resolution to chant 1 million daimoku in one year. It's already Jan - and I am only one-third of the way. I really need to WORK HARDER - coz I made another 1 million resolution from Jan - Dec 2009.

The chart you see on the right of this post is a chart that we put beside our butsudan. It tracked our chanting progress. Every 20 minute, we coloured one box. Mine is the one on top, Anne's at the bottom - you can see that she made much better progress than me! Hmmm.. come to think of it, I am not even at one third!!

---
Edit 22 March 2009: Thanks to Google, a couple of friends in faith found this post and they want to know how many hours of chanting is required to achieve one million diamoku. Here it is. Based on our publication in Malaysia, 20 minutes of chanting is equivalent to 1,000 daimoku. So, one hour is 3,000 daimoku. 1 million would take about 333 hours.

---
Edit 8 April 2018: Checking my blogger stats, this post is pretty high up in …

Why did we choose Sekolah Kebangsaan Taman Megah?

Which school did we transfer Jane to, that's probably what is in your mind? The graphics and the title above would have informed you the name of this school. But why this school?

We first heard of Sekolah Kebangsaan Taman Megah from a friend. Her 8 and 11 year old daughters are now studying there. Typically, she doesn't really talk much about the school but when probed further, she told us all about the school. There are few things she said which struck me really hard. The first being that the kids and the staff in the school are a happy lot. Yes, even the staff. She said when you go to the school and talked to the teachers, the Headmistress Puan Khoo or even the office staff, you will feel an ambiance of  warmth and politeness from everyone. It's a very pleasant feeling, unlike many schools where the atmosphere is cold. And she also said that the children there, her own two daughters, are always looking forward to school.

The second thing she said which also left an impr…

How to change Twitterrific V6 Theme

Yesterday, my favorite Twitter client, Twitterrific, released V6. I have been using Twitterrific for years and while I sometimes try other clients, I always end up with Twitterrific. So, I am extremely happy to see it still being actively developed.

One of my favorite features of this release is the introduction of new themes. There is one theme I really like. It's called Parakeet and it's almost based on the Solarized Dark colour scheme. However, there is no Solarized Light and so, I was delighted to learn that there is a way to change the theme manually by changing the .plist file.

Twitterrific syncs the theme file to iCloud Drive under the Twitterrific folder. There is a Themes folder and inside it is a Day and Night subfolder. They also nicely included a sample theme file, named Sample.twitterrifictheme. All you have to do is copy the file and drop it to the Day subfolder and magically, Twitterrific client will pick it up. The theme files for all the included 6 themes can b…